Reinhardt Grossmann argues that a realistic ontology in regard to perceptual, physical, and mathematical objects can be combined with an empirical theory of knowledge. He shows that the traditional distinction between primary and secondary qualities leads to idealism, while the common Cartesian conception of knowledge by way of ideas leads to scepticism. In order to avoid these twin scourges of modern philosophy, the author argues for the existence of ordinary perceptual objects and explains how we know these objects directly through simple acts of perception. The book is concerned with the way in which we know what is in our minds, Grossmann maintains, is just as fallible as perception. The author concludes that logic, arithmetic, and set theory concern matters of facts and that we discover these facts empirically.
Reinhardt Grossmann was born in Berlin,Germany and travelled as a young student to the United States, where he studied philosophy with Gustav Bergmann. Grossmann was professor of philosophy at Indiana University in Bloomington. He lives in Austin, Texas today and is considered one of the most distinguished ontologists in the United States.